Mexico art market profile
Mexican art is not simply the preserve of local buyers, it's making waves around the world
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Wednesday 30 May 2012
Sotheby's and Christie's both hold two sales a year focussing on Latin American art - a sign of the desire both in the region and abroad for the finest in Latin American pieces.
Mexican artists tend to dominate the sales. Rufino Tamayo's Troubadour sold for $7.2m in 2008, the current Mexican art record. Diego Rivera's Baile en Tehuantepec made $3.1m in 1995, while Frida Kahlo's 'Roots' sold for $5.6m in 2006. The female Mexican surrealists are a boom area, with Leonora Carrington's The Giantess and Remedios Varo's Planta Insumisa both selling for $1.5 m, in 2009 and 2008, respectively.
The market for Mexican art has expanded from beyond its own boundaries, and is now being globally recognised. Virgilio Garza, the head of Latin American art at Christies, told Alternative Latin Investor: "The demographics of the clients has changed, little by little. There were a lot of American collectors buying Latin American art seriously. "Now in the past years there are other players who have changed the dynamic. There are Europeans, Middle Eastern, some Asian buyers looking for specific things and even Russians have been regular buyers."
The Soumaya Museum in Mexico City is the focal point of the country's art scene. Gifted by billionaire Carlos Slim to the country, it is an astonishing collection of Mexican and world art, and includes pieces by Mexican muralists Rivera and Siqueiros.
Mexican folk art is a particularly buoyant area of the sector, but collectors are urged to use caution. "In Mexico, we're famous for fakes," expert Susanna Kirchberg told the Guadalajara Reporter. "What happens a lot is that Mexican folk art is not signed."
Who's the next big thing? Gabriel Orozco is the name on everyone's lips. His solo exhibition has recently appeared at New York's MoMA and London's Tate.
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